Local FFA chapters participate in district speaking

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TORRINGTON – The Goshen County School Board chambers was a sea of navy blue and gold as area schools competed in the Wyoming FFA Region V South District Public Speaking LDE (Leadership Development Event) held on Wednesday morning.

FFA chapters from Southeast, Glendo, Wheatland, Chug Creek, Laramie Peak, Rawhide and Torrington/Lingle gathered to show off their skills in a variety of public speaking events. 

During the creed speaking contest, freshman FFA members from the area chapters recite the National FFA Creed and answer three prepared questions regarding the creed. A panel of judges scores each speaker. 

The National FFA Creed was written in 1928 by E.M. Tiffany and it was revised at the 38th and 63rd national conventions. 

Bailey Mehling represented the Southeast FFA Chapter in the creed portion of the competition. Other area competitors were Carlee Hill (Glendo), Carly Robertson (Wheatland), Peyton Teten (Laramie Peak), Emma Crowley (Laramie Peak), Mesa Winger (Chug Creek) and Savannah Norfleet (Chug Creek).

After a short break, members moved on to prepared public speaking. 

Contestants are given six to eight minutes to present the panel of judges a prepared speech on a current agriculture topic. After their speech, members then answered questions from the judge’s panel.

Topics of discussion were mental health, agriculture literacy, hydrogen engines, and cattle feeding.  

Audrina Dugger of the Torrington/Lingle FFA Chapter and Kailey Porter of the Southeast FFA Chapter, both presented a prepared speech on the mental health and suicide rates of Wyoming producers. 

“I was heading to school one Friday morning as I drove into town, I passed Z&W Mill with steam coming off the pellet mill. Within 200 feet, I saw a cattle box being unloaded at the Torrington Livestock Market. Little did I know, these agriculturists face their own mental battles every day and in Wyoming this is more common than not,” Dugger began. 

Sarah Birdsall of the Torrington/Lingle FFA Chapter spoke on agriculture literacy and the importance of educating others about agriculture. 

“It was my fifth-grade year, and I loaded the bus with the rest of my class to go toward the local dairy farm. I was surrounded by my peers who had never set foot near a cow or a farm in their whole life. When we got to the farm, I saw looks ranging from excitement to disgust on the faces of my friends,” Birdsall said. “The one expression they all had in common though was confusion.” 

William Knowlton of the Southeast FFA Chapter spoke on hydrogen engines and their applications in agriculture.

The extemporaneous speakers were from the Torrinton/Lingle FFA Chapter (Addie Hansen and Trinity Martin) and the Southeast FFA Chapter (Taylar Hansen and Kodie Anderson). 

Some of the topics during the extemporaneous portion of the contest were vertical farming, mental health and food and fiber systems.

Shortly after the last contestant spoke, the panel of judges deliberated to determine winners for each category. 

The following FFA members will be competing at the regional public speaking event, held in March, for the creed portion, Carly Robertson (Wheatland FFA), Mesa Winger (Chug Creek FFA), Peyton Tenen (Laramie Peak FFA) and alternate contestant, Bailey Mehling (Southeast FFA). In the prepared speaking category Audrina Dugger (Torrington/Lingle FFA) advanced to the regional event with Sarah Birdshall (Torrington/Lingle FFA) and William Knowlton (Southeast FFA). Kort Bannan (Rawhide FFA) was selected as the prepared speaking alternate. 

In the extemporaneous category, Addie Hansen (Torrington/Lingle FFA), Kodie Anderson (Southeast FFA) and Taylar Hansen (Southeast FFA) advanced to the district speaking contest. Trinity Martin (Torrington/Linlge) was selected as the alternate extemporaneous speaker.